Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pennete Fideo con Chícharos

It is rather cold and gray today, and after a grueling softball game where I mostly sat around spitting out sunflower seed husks, I was ready for a hot meal. Investigating the larder revealed very little that was useful. Yes, I did say larder. And no, there is no lard in there. A larder is a cool area for storing food prior to use. Larders were commonplace in houses before the widespread use of the refrigerator.

Essential qualities of a larder are that it should be:

  • as cool as possible
  • close to food preparation areas
  • constructed so as to exclude flies and vermin
  • easy to keep clean
  • equipped with shelves and cupboards appropriate to the food being stored.
So, now you know. Well, hidden somewhere in the larder was a can of Campbells Tomato Soup, a can of chicken broth, a can of peas, some pennete pasta, and assorted spices. In Mexican cooking, pasta is often used in a tomato based soup that is seasoned with cumin and oregano. Looks like I had the makings of a nice lunch, "estillo campesino". Here's how to make it.

Pennete Fideo con Chícharos

1 can condensed tomato soup
1 can sweet peas
1 can chicken broth (or 1 cup)
7oz pennete pasta
1/2 sweet onion
1/2 tsp cumin seed, crushed
1/2 tsp whole oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp granulated garlic
pinch of fresh ground pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil

Toast the pasta in the olive oil, stirring frequently until many of the noodles have browned in a stainless steel saucepan or pot over medium heat. Dice the onion and add to the pasta, cooking until the onion is slightly tender. Pour in the chicken stock (vegetable stock can be used if you want to make this a vegetarian dish). Pour in the can of condensed soup, followed by two cans full of water. Drain the peas and add to pot. Stir well. Turn the heat up to high. Add the spices and stir well. When the soup comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can add water if you want a more liquid soup, but I prefer my fideos to almost be more like a stew.

**NOTE - there is no Food Economics for this one. I have no idea what the stuff cost that I found buried in my larder!

No comments:

Post a Comment